Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tossed Away

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tossed Away

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - The Jets wanted to take another look at Geno Smith. And so they did. They watched him hand off. And hand off again. And hand off some more.

Smith, making his first start at quarterback since Oct. 26, was given a game plan that seemed taken from the 1940s. He attempted only eight passes until the Jets' final desperate drive near the end of the game.

And maybe the Jets knew what they were doing. Smith was intercepted by Reshad Jones with 34 seconds left, sealing Miami's 16- 13 win at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

Caleb Sturgis' 26-yard field goal with 1:57 left capped a 53- yard drive and gave the Dolphins (7-5) a 16-13 lead. The Jets got the ball at their 20, but Smith was intercepted on a pass intended for tight end Jeff Cumberland. The ball was underthrown and was tipped before it reached Cumberland. It then ricocheted off him and was corralled by Jones, who purposely fell to the ground so he didn't risk a turnover.

Rex Ryan defended his team's ultra-conservative game plan.

"It had nothing to do with us not having faith in our quarterback,'' the Jets coach said. "It had everything to do with trying to win the game.''

The usually reliable Nick Folk made two field goals for the Jets (2-10), but missed two other attempts, including a 45-yarder that he pushed wide left before Miami's eventual winning drive.

On the prior play, Miami's Koa Misi had sacked Smith for an 8- yard loss, pushing the Jets back to the Dolphins' 25-yard line. The drive had started at the Jets' 39 after a 24-yard kickoff return by Chris Pantale of Wayne.

"Special teams are usually a strength for us. ... They outplayed us on special teams,'' Ryan said.

On the Jets' second possession, Chris Johnson's twisting, turning 47-yard run to the Miami 20 keyed a six-play, 85-yard touchdown drive. On the play after Johnson's big gain, wide receiver Greg Salas scored on a 20-yard end-around to the right side. Salas, who appeared to be limping during the run, then departed the game and didn't return. …

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